Tuesday, July 04, 2006
It is nice to hear that Big Papi is not going to change his approach. He will not be tempted to slap the ball to left. Ortiz didn't change with the Twins when they wanted him to and it ain't happenin' here folks even with the “maddening shift“. But in certain situations, Big Papi should bunt to get on-base.
Assuming Ortiz should never bunt with men on base, he should lay one down with the bases empty, according to Baseball Prospectus’ run expectancy table modified for Big Papi’s production. BP’s table indicates that this year .55 runs will be scored with no outs and no runners on base, .30 runs with one out and .11 runs with two out. Simply, increasing the run expectancy by 17% or Big Papi’s production over the average hitter (260 to 304 EQA) renders .64 runs - no outs, .35 runs - one out and .13 runs - two outs.
Going back to BP’s table with a runner on first, .93 runs will score with no outs, .56 with one out and .24 with two out. (Using this data assumes that Ortiz can reach first bunting 100% of the time, which may not be the case, but it also does not adjust upward for having Manny hitting next.) In general, we should expect more runs with Big Papi on first than with him at the plate and the bases empty.